India’s Leander Paes and his Swiss partner Martina Hingis beat French-Canadian pair of Kristina Mladenovic and Daniel Nestor in straight sets to win the Australian Open mixed doubles crown. Paes and Hingis, seeded seventh, beat the third seeds 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and two minutes.
India’s 41-year-old veteran tennis star with this won his 15th Grand Slam title. Paes and Hingis were in control throughout and took just 29 minutes to take the first set 6-4. The third seeds came back strongly and broke the Indian-Swiss team early to take a 2-1 lead in second set.
However, it was all downhill from thereon for Mladenovic and Nestor as Paes and Hingis broke their serves twice in a row to establish a 4-2 lead. The French-Canadian team did manage to win another game but it proved to be a mere consolation as Paes and Hingis finished the set 6-3 in 33 minutes to take home the first Grand Slam title of the year.
This was Paes’ seventh mixed doubles Grand Slam title – his first with Hingis, a former World No.1 in women’s singles. Hingis, 34, won her first Grand Slam title since 2006. Incidentally, that was also a mixed doubles title here with another Indian, Mahesh Bhupathi. (IANS)